Road Trip Confessions

“The car has become a secular sanctuary for the individual, his shrine to the self, his mobile Walden Pond.” ~Edward McDonagh

This coming week, I’ll be on the road, driving up the East Coast to visit some of our customers. I’ll end my trip with a weekend in Connecticut, my old stomping grounds, where I will reconnect with old high school buddies for an unofficial 30-year high school reunion.

While it is typical for solo drivers to spend their road time listening to the radio, enjoying audio books and podcasts, or talking on the phone (using a hands-free device), I spend my time a little bit differently. I learn songs.

A guitar player, I have played in bands since high school. These days, I regularly spend my weekends playing in local restaurants and night spots with a group we call “Overtyme”. And somehow, I often get coerced into singing lead vocals. Next weekend will be one of those times.

A few of my high school buddies and I have planned some entertainment for our reunion party, which means I have to learn the lyrics to several songs including “Eyes of the World” (The Grateful Dead) and “Down to the Waterline” (Dire Straits). Road trips are one of the few places where I get long stretches of uninterrupted rehearsal time. As an added bonus, nobody can hear me while I struggle through those first few rough vocal run-throughs.

Over the years, I’ve heard truck drivers exchange unbelievable tales of the crazy things people do while driving, clearly presuming that their cars are an extension of their homes and that no one else can see them! From the gross (nose-picking) to the X-rated (use your imagination) to the most disturbing and dangerous examples of distracted driving (brushing teeth, shaving, knitting, texting, and eating Chinese food with chopsticks), they’ve seen it all.

Of course, this week, if a trucker spots a guy singing to himself on I-95, it will probably be me.

My wife will be joining me at the end of the week, not only for my high school reunion, but also to celebrate our wedding anniversary. I can assure you there will be no canoodling in the car while driving. That devilish Cassanova Albert Einstein (who knew?) said it best:

“Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.”

Have a great weekend,